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Poster: billydlions Date: Jul 29, 2009 6:01am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Best MSG Shows

In response to Rings & Bells request for best shows at noteworthy venues, I present you the 5 best shows at the greatest venue ever, MSG. It's no secret the Dead loved playing there, as Phil mentioned in his book. The energy level always was high, and it's hard to find a bad show there(9-24-88 was the worst). Here's my top 5:

5) http://www.archive.org/details/gd1982-09-21.mtx.seamons.97705.sbeok.flac16
The fist set stands out but the 2nd set is also well played. The opening Playing/Crazy Fingers/Playing sets
the tone for the rest of the night. China Rider is excellent, and this may be the best Big River ever played.

4) http://www.archive.org/details/gd87-09-18.sbd-remaster.cole.19002.sbeok.shnf
Ever since I heard this on the Dead Head Hour this has always been a favorite of mine. The post space is simply
the Dead at their best. Morning Dew is one of the best and Watchtower is frantic. Was there any question that
Jerry was back? As a side note, 1987 has to be an underrated year. The soundboards from the spring tour were all crap, which is a shame because they were playing so well.


3) http://www.archive.org/details/gd83-10-11.sbd.harrell.7339.sbeok.shnf
It may be debatable that the next night is the better show (I dont disagree) but if you had the choice, would anyone really pass up the chance to see the return of St Stephen at MSG? Just listen to the crowd after the opening notes are played.

2) http://www.archive.org/details/gd79-01-08.gatto.glyde.10283.sbeok.shnf
This may be a controversial choice, but I stand by it. Jerry's voice is still in bad shape but his guitar playing is unreal. The Scarlet/Fire is so good, as is Wharf Rat and Supplication. Even Donna's over the top moaning in the Scarlet Jam is perhaps her greatest moment.

1) http://www.archive.org/details/gd81-03-09.glassberg.wise.7473.sbeok.shnf
This is the best Grateful Dead show of the 80's. Jerry is in total command of his guitar and can do anything he wants.
Estimated/Uncle John's is off the charts, as is Birdsong, China/Rider. Perhaps the best version of Feel Like a Stranger? You need this show.






This post was modified by billydlions on 2009-07-29 13:01:57

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Poster: Liamfinnegan Date: Jul 30, 2009 10:57am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best MSG Shows

and to think that 3/9/81 was my first dead show- no wonder I was hooked and fast!

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Poster: billydlions Date: Jul 30, 2009 3:52pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best MSG Shows

Liam, I am very sorry to hear about your loss. I hope some of these old shows help you out in this difficult time.

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Poster: Capt. Cook Date: Jul 29, 2009 10:09am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best MSG Shows

Crowd Response - growing up in New York I must have seen over 100 concerts at the garden. Without question the greatest crowd responses I ever heard occured during the first few notes of St. Stephen, on that October night in 1983. Unexpected and suddenly people were falling over themselves in joy and tears and sheer rapture. I remember running to find my girlfriend in the hallway and there were just deadheads in piles on the floor, hugging eachother like as if jesus had suddenly appeared before them. A moment when you realized these songs had a history that went on before you and that you were just lucky enough to catch some there tonight. Those nights became fewer and fewer as we went along...

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Poster: fenario80 Date: Jul 29, 2009 10:09am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best MSG Shows

03-09-1981 was my first MSG show, and it was kind of like seeing them for the first time again. Insane energy levels that night, all the way around. Still not sure it's the best show I ever saw, though, because Portland ME 09-17-1982 is in hot contention ...

I always talk about the first set, and the amazing China Cat-Rider, but the rest of the second set is mighty, with Phil dropping bombs all over the place.

09-21-1982 was my only experience on the Garden floor; the whole place pumped in synch with Phil's bass. What fun!

So I feel lucky to have attended 2 of your top 5 ... and I second the 09-10-1991 nomination. That's just a special show.

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Poster: barongsong Date: Jul 29, 2009 6:00am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best MSG Shows

I am by no means an authority on MSG. There are way to many I haven't heard yet. but for what it's worth here are my top 5 in no particular order.
1. I'm with you on 82 both the 20 and 21 shows kick serious booty
2. 9-18-87 A rocken good time was had by all nuff said.
3. 9-19-90 testin the new guy [he passed]
4. 9-16-91 What can I say I'm a sucker for comes a time and Attics in the same set.
5. 9-4-79 really like this show but must admit that I've only listened to it and 1-7 from this year.
Also I agree that 9-24-88 is the stinker of the bunch but I remember there were some really excellent shows in the 88 run if I could only remember which ones they were. Haven't heard any of the 81 or 83 shows so my list is most likely lacking here.

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Poster: Solo Head Date: Jul 29, 2009 6:59am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best MSG Shows

9/10/91

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Poster: spring mountain high Date: Jul 30, 2009 5:48am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best MSG Shows

Of the 1988 run, 9/20/88 and 9/22/88 are my favorites, especially 9/22/88, one of my favorite china->riders, plus a bunch of other really well played stuff...shakedown opener doesn't hurt, 22 beat BIODTL->greatest story, tom thumb's etc etc...the members of a certain NY based 'jam band' that shall remain nameless were selling nitrous at this show...i grew up with them, so we traded a bowl for a balloon....ahhhhh youth

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Poster: billydlions Date: Jul 29, 2009 7:08am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best MSG Shows

9-15-88 is my pick from that tour but no one show really stands out as being the best from that run of 8 shows, which is why none made the list. I freely admit my bias of not liking the post-Brent era, nor do I believe any of those shows are better than the 5 listed. I would even add 3-10-81 and 10-12-83 to my list before the '90 & '91 MSG shows.

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Poster: barongsong Date: Jul 29, 2009 7:22am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best MSG Shows

Yea my lack of knowledge of both the 81 and 83 shows probably makes my list pretty irrelevant knowing how good those years are. That said there are quite a few in 90 and 91 that I really enjoy and Hornsby seems to make up for my early Vince distaste. As for 88 I was thinking it was either 9-22 or 9-15 or even 9-18 for it's novelty and overall fun feeling that were the shows from that msg run. Although none of them make my top 5.

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Jul 29, 2009 3:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best MSG Shows

I was lucky enough to be there on 10/11/83 and it's a perfect example of "one of those shows" that was significant more for the breakout of that "Stephen" than for overall excellence in playing.

I saw some of the MSG run in '88 and again in '90 and arguably there were better played shows than that night in '83....but nothing will ever compare to that feeling of euphoria that washed through the crowd when the first St. Stephen in 5 years emerged from Space.

I had a deja vu type moment again in 1986 when I was at Hampton for the first "Box of Rain" in FOURTEEN years--and very much like MSG 3 years earlier, this was not a "great" show in terms of performance (what in '86 was, really?)...and in fact they performed many better versions of "Box" in subsequent shows...but I wouldn't trade that breakout moment for anything.

There were heads flooding the payphones at the end of the set (they concluded the first set w/"Box"), yelling the song title into the phone and hanging up...a line over and over...all the same thing: "Box of Rain!" followed by a hang-up...rinse and repeat...I can only imagine the folks on the other end going "Damn it!"...

Breakout moments are part of what made the Dead show experience so much fun. Rarities to be sure, but you never knew when you were gonna get one...kind of like following your favorite baseball team and being lucky enough one day to be at a game where the pitcher throws a no-hitter.

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Poster: barongsong Date: Jul 29, 2009 5:22pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best MSG Shows

That St. Stephen break out of space in MSG must have been Amazing especially with the big energy that is always present there anyhow. The only thing I can compare it to was the Ripple breakout I saw in 88 but the difference there was that it was at the end of the show so the impact of it spilled out into the parking lot where there were people freaking out for missing it as well as people still in ecstasy.
As for the Box of Rain breakout I still remember my friend coming back from Hampton and gushing about it. It's probably the thing that piqued my curiosity, as to what all this excitement was about, and why I decided to go to Providence 86 for my first show with him.

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Poster: billydlions Date: Jul 29, 2009 4:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best MSG Shows

If had the choice between attending 10-11-83 vs 6-27-85, I'm not sure which I would choose, but you are a lucky guy to have been to both shows! 6-27-85 to me is what 10-29-77 is to you. Perhaps it's because I had that show on tape early on but I do believe it's one of the best of the '80's and under appreciated. I think everyone of us here has that 1 show that they love for some strange reason....I can think of a few such as 11-24-79, 6-25-85, 6-14-68, etc..

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Poster: Old_NJ_Head_Zimmer Date: Jul 29, 2009 5:07pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best MSG Shows

Billy,

I was at both 83 Garden shows and whole summer 85 run. Believe me when I tell you, you would rather be at the Garden that night!! The crowd responce was greater than the Box breakout, Criptical Breakout, the HCS breakout, the Unbroken Chain breakout, the Richmond Gloria or any other breakout I saw!! Sheer lunacy. Also, the Stephen a few nights later in Hartford got a nice responce but NOTHING like the MSG show.

By the way, I went back and touched the 6-25-85 and 6-27-85 again recently after some postings. At the time I thought they were the cat's meow, now they seem to have lost a little shine for me. I was there and had great times. As far as best SPAC show, the 83 show was truely magnificant. It doesn't get respect it should because there is no known soundboard. I saw all the SPAC shows.

Like you said, some shows just stick with ya. What I've found is that is true as well as some shows stick with you for a while and some shows fall of and them come back to stick with you again later!!

Enjoy them all!!

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Poster: billydlions Date: Jul 29, 2009 6:32pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best MSG Shows

SPAC '83 is in desperate need of an upgrade. I assume that if it was in the vault we would know by now. Rhino has to have some major upgrade out there, wouldn't you think??? I would love a cleaned up road trips for those 2 MSG shows from '83.

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Poster: jglynn1.2 Date: Jul 30, 2009 2:04pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Best MSG Shows

I was at 9/20/87 a few nights later - don't recall it but listening now and it is a real nice listen

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1987-09-20.nak300.damico.90492.sbeok.flac16

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